Merkur Offshore announced that the 396-MW Merkur offshore wind development project has confirmed financial close. Merkur is a construction-ready wind farm located approximately 45 km north of the islands of Borkum, Germany, in the North Sea.
The project will consist of 66 turbines and generate approximately 1,750 GWh annually, enough clean energy to power around 500,000 homes. A total capital investment of ca. EUR 1.6 billion was raised from equity investors and bank lenders on a non-recourse project financing basis.
“This is a significant milestone for both the Merkur Offshore project and the European offshore wind industry,” said Jérôme Pécresse, President and CEO of GE Renewable Energy. “Securing this funding ensures the first large-scale commercial deployment of our state-of-the-art Haliade 150-6MW offshore wind turbine in Europe. The Merkur project also signals our continued commitment to the development of offshore wind farms around the world.”
Close to EUR 500 million in equity was provided by a consortium of five sponsors comprising of:
- Partners Group, the global private markets investment manager (with a 50% equity share on behalf of its clients);
- InfraRed Capital Partners, the infrastructure and real estate investment manager (with a 25% equity share on behalf of its infrastructure investors);
- DEME Concessions Wind, the infrastructure investment arm of the DEME Group (12.5%);
- GE Energy Financial Services, the energy investing arm of the industrial company (6.25%); and,
- L’Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (ADEME), acting in the name and on behalf of the French State (6.25%).
“With several coal-fired and nuclear power plants due to be retired across Germany by 2020, Merkur is a timely project and will contribute towards maintaining the country’s energy supply, while catering to the long-term shift towards renewables in the power generation mix,” said Brandon Prater, Partner and Co-Head Private Infrastructure, Partners Group. “On this project we have strong and experienced equipment and engineering partners, as well as equity partners, and look forward to working with them to successfully complete Merkur.”
With strong project fundamentals, including contracting and secured grid connection, the debt was arranged in an unprecedented record time of four months. A group of 10 leading international and local banks committed approximately EUR 1.2 billion of senior secured debt to the project.
The Merkur Offshore wind farm will be one of Germany’s largest wind farms. GE will supply 66 Haliade 150-6 MW offshore turbines, installed by DEME, and built and operated by Merkur Offshore. Project construction will start immediately and will be undertaken by GeoSea, member of the DEME Group.
Alain Bernard, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the DEME Group, said: “With our investments in the Merkur project, DEME continues to be at the forefront of offshore wind energy developments in Germany and beyond. GeoSea, DEME’s specialist in complex offshore marine engineering projects, will realize the construction of Merkur Offshore. Our specialist team in Bremen will play a major role in the execution of the project, contributing significantly to Germany’s energy transition plans.”
Read the full release here.
Filed Under: News, Offshore wind, Projects